little gray birds

I’ve been able to make some good progress on my Fathers and Sons story “Little Gray Birds.” I have more than a thousand words of the story down, and I think it’s going in the right direction.

My process for years has been to collect my thoughts, bits of dialogue, ideas for character development, ideas for flashbacks and connections in a Word file. I just let them accumulate there until I think I have critical mass, then I start in with the story.  (The times I have tried to sit down and just start writing whatever came to me nearly always resulted in misfires, with the notable exception of my story “Travel Light”, which I still think is the best I’ve ever done.)

In this case, I had about 5,000 words of notes, more words than the entire story would encompass likely. What I didn’t have for a while was a way to start it. Then that came to me in one of those unbidden epiphanies that writers sometimes talk about (but not too much cuz you don’t want to jinx it). I had my start, a start that reached back across all of the stories and tied them together in a way that I had never considered before (but that I needed all along).

So with a good start and a decent amount of notes, “Little Gray Birds” is now underway. My guess is that I already have two-thirds of it in draft, but there is a lot that the last third must do, so the word count may mount. Also, I’ve decided to carve out a bit of introspection that was my original ending for the story to make it its own vignette. A sort of coda to all of the stories. I think it works better that way.

I can see the finish arch, but I’m not sprinting yet.

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